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Monday, May 2, 2016

Mustangs split second day at State, finish 7th

Monday, July 23, 2012

FORT DODGE - The line drives and pop flies that seemed to find glove after glove in the first two games of State Tournament action for Newell-Fonda finally found some green Wednesday afternoon as the Mustangs broke out of their Fort Dodge funk to place 7th in Class 1A.

The Mustangs closed tournament action by downing Newman Catholic 6-1 in six innings at Harlan Rogers, after being held to one hit in their 2-1 loss to Gehlen Catholic in their Wednesday morning opener. Newell-Fonda notched nine base hits in the win over Newman, with seven different girls collecting base knocks.

"It was one of those tournaments where a lot of our hard hits found gloves," said Newell-Fonda head coach Dick Jungers. "This last game here, we finally had some hits hitting the grass. That's what makes this sport exciting, but when they start falling for you, you really appreciate it."

"We all pulled through and executed when we needed to and found away to win," said senior Alyssa Henrich. "It always nice to end with a win in Fort Dodge. We ended it in the right place."

"We've always hit the ball well," said fellow senior Jenna Falline. "Tournament trail we started hitting gloves. It's unfortunate for it to happen this time of year but nice for us to find the gaps today."

Against Newman, the Mustangs opened scoring in the third inning as Renee Maneman walked her way aboard with one out and quickly stole second. After an Alyssa Henrich popout, Jenna Falline singled to right to drive in the opening run.

After a scoreless fourth, the Mustangs plated two in the fifth, with Maneman again starting things off by singling her way on and stealing second. Henrich singled to right to move her over, and Falline notched a sac fly RBI immediately after. Brooke Hammen then connected with a double for a 3-0 lead.

Newman would answer with one in the fifth as Micah Chavez was struck by a pitch, advanced on a Sara Tefft single, advanced to third on a wild pitch and scored on a second wild pitch in the inning.

The Mustangs got the run back and then some in the sixth. Missy Morenz and Maneman opened with back to back singles. After a Henrich strikeout, Falline loaded them up with a walk. Hammen would then drive in one on a fielder's choice. Andrea Christensen followed with an RBI single to center to score Maneman, and Jade Hess capped the three run inning with a sac fly to score Jordan Wilken, who was pinch running for Falline.

Falline allowed just one hit in the bottom of the sixth as the game was called after six with Newell-Fonda leading due to time constraints.

Falline picked up her 90th career win in her final high school game as she went the distance, allowing just two hits on the afternoon. She walked three and struck out five. At the plate, she was 1-for-2 and drove in two.

Maneman was 2-for-3 with a walk, two stolen bases and three runs scored. Christensen was 2-for-3 with an RBI, Hess 1-for-2 with an RBI, Henrich 1-for-4 with a run scored, and Morenz 1-for-3 with a run scored.

Elli Ruen took the loss for Newman, giving up three earned runs on six hits. She walked four and struck out one. Their season comes to an end with a record of 25-13.

Against Gehlen, Amber Timmins found her groove early, surrendering just one hit and three walks on the day. She threw a no-hitter through four and added three strikeouts as they advanced to the 5th place game, where they fell to Marquette Catholic, 4-2.

Falline took the loss in that game, allowing two unearned runs in a one-hitter. She walked one and struck out four, but a pair of Mustang errors in the fourth proved costly.

Newell-Fonda wraps the year with a record of 35-9, including an unbeaten Twin Lakes Conference title. This was their sixth appearance in Fort Dodge in the last eight seasons.

"It means a lot to be able to come back after a tough loss on Monday and get a chance to play a couple more games against the best teams in the state of Iowa," said Jungers. "It's a lot to appreciate, a lifetime experience. They can always look back 20 years from now and see they had a team that finished as one of the best in the state."

There are just three departing seniors for the Mustangs, but it is a stellar trio as they lose their ace-Falline, their leading batter-Henrich and their cleanup hitter-Hammen.

"When you work with them, when they come in day one as an 8th grader and end up like this, you've got nothing but pride for them," said Jungers. "It's such a journey for those five years. I couldn't be prouder of how hard those kids have worked and what they've accomplished."

"I'm really proud of how far I've come from 8th grade until my senior year," said Henrich. "We made it to State four out of five years here. It feels really good. I'm going to miss the coaches a lot. I'll be sure to come back and watch them down here next year."

"It's been a lot of fun," said a teary-eyed Falline. "But it's tough. I'm going to miss my coaches and my team."

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